From £99 a dozen in bond
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This week Julia and I are totally immersed in tasting 2008 burgundies on the London circuit, at a total of 26 primeurs tastings in a fortnight. (Yes, crazy, isn't it? But UK wine merchants are keen to divert as much of the reported £40 billion of bankers' bonuses currently being paid into their own coffers.) We plan to publish our collected tasting notes, likely to number well in excess of 1,000, as soon as possible next week.
Although this is still early days for our impressions of the vintage as a whole (though click on the Burgundy 2008 tag at the bottom to see what I have written so far), lower down the ranks in very general terms the whites are showing better at this stage than the reds.
One bargain that leapt off the table at the Goedhuis early-bird tasting last week was Fichet 2008 Bourgogne Blanc. Jean-Philippe Fichet really can make white wine! He has invested heavily in his new premises on the outskirts of Meursault and even his most basic bottling of white burgundy is absolutely delicious – all that you want from a Côte d'Or white except for the ageing potential (and worry about whether it's going oxidise prematurely).
Funnily enough, the Goedhuis team were expecting to show us only his old-vine or Vieilles Vignes bottling of Bourgogne Blanc, whose 2003 was, I see, a previous wine of the week. This regular bottling was a bonus but I thought it was stupendous – and actually showing even better at the moment than the less expressive Vieilles Vignes cuvée.
Goedhuis are offering it at £105 a dozen in bond while the Berry Bros price is just £99, and Genesis have just contacted me to say they are offering it too tat £97. Either way, you will end up paying around £12 a bottle for this pure, poised marvel when it reaches British shores in May. Actually, like many Bourgogne Blancs and simpler Chablis 2008s, it is already drinking beautifully but merchants tend to collect all their whites at the same time, which means that these simpler wines have to wait for the premiers crus to be ready for collection. Shame.
However, I don't think you would be disappointed by this wine any time over the next couple of years, and it will be much cheaper bought now than when it appears by the single bottle on retail lists at prices closer to £16 a bottle.
By the way, it looks as though this wine will not be shown at Berry Bros burgundy 2008 tasting tomorrow when they will instead be showing three of Fichet's grander whites.